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Ong-bak (2003)

  Directed by: Prachya Pinkaew
Written by: Prachya Pinkaew, Panna Rittikrai
Starring: Phanom Yeerum
Links: Ong-bak on the IMDb
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"A lot of trouble to go to for a little head." - a review by timchuma

When the head of a Buddha named Ong Bak is stolen from a rural village in Thailand by drug dealer Don, the villagers entrust their favourite son and best young Muay Thai fighter, Ting, to go retrieve it for them.

Arriving in Bangkok, Ting tracks down a former village member who has changed his name to George and his getting himself in trouble all the time. Predictably George fleeces him at the first opportunity and runs off to bet the money at the local fighting club. They are joined by Muay, a young woman and partner in George's many money-making schemes.

There is a funny scene in the club where Ting tries to walk over to the betting window to get his money, only to walk into the ring and ends up having to fight. He wins it with one kick. The watching big boss (with his robot voice ‘HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!’) is impressed even though he loses his money. It turns out Don is working for the same man who is annoyed with him for bringing him the head of Ong Bak when he wanted something else.

As the action scenes are really what make this movie impressive, I won't ruin them by going into too much detail. Just to say that the hits in his movie really look like they hurt and it is all satisfyingly real. This is really great and a breath of fresh air after movies such as the Matrix just about CGI'ed the genre to death.

There is also an excellent chase sequence that looks like it belongs in the Blues Brothers, but with Tuk-tuks instead of cop cars. I really liked how they really played on things that are unique to Thailand like the Thai boxing traditions and the form of Buddhism in that country and role in society.

I was also impressed by some of the stunts, such as when Ting kicks a bloke in the head with half his body engulfed in flames (you have to see it to believe it.) The fight with the bloke hurling assorted whitegoods at the head of our hero is also well done.

The best thing I heard about this movie is that the company Madman Entertainment looks as it is going to pick it up for distribution in Australia so everyone who missed it will get to see it fairly soon.

timchuma gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 30 Aug 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. This movie is going to be great. I heard that the actor doesn't use any camara's tricks or anything. They are original moves of him.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from gi on Sun 30 Jan 2005 10:14 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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